Day 25 – Little Laurel Shelter to Flint Mountain Shelter

  13.2 miles, 35,802 steps, 338 stories climbed

316.0 miles, 877,066 steps, 8571 stories climbed
Ladies and gentlemen!  Tonight we have the fight you have all been waiting for!!!  In the red corner, the challenger, wearing the boxers with floral patterns, we have Spring!!! (The crowd cheers)
And in the blue corner, wearing white trunks, the reigning champion, Winter!!! (The crowd vehemently boos)
These two foes have been battling it out throughout history and their records are pretty similar but as of late winter has been beating spring down.  We are all anxiously awaiting the results of today’s fight and I think I can speak for the audience when I say we all want to see spring turn the tide and win one.
The two foes meet in the middle of the ring and the bell sounds signaling the start of the bout.
Winter comes out with a strong start landing blow after blow, through ing a cold rain jab to the face followed by a right hand of sleet to the gut.  Spring is in trouble early.
  
Winter keeps on throwing punches and they keep landing.  Oh no! Winter just kicked spring with a roundhouse to the face with some hail and spring is hurt and stumbling.  Here comes winter!  No!!! Winter has spring in a snow covered rear naked choke.  I think spring is on the verge of tapping and the crowd is starting to get rowdy.  Oh and there’s the bell.  
  
Winter reluctantly releases the choke hold and spring has been literally saved by the bell. The two foes go to there corners but I don’t know if spring is going to last another round.
The two foes come together to the center of the ring. Spring is visibly hurt as he stumbles to the center of the ring. The bell rings and we are on to round two.
Winter comes out swinging but what’s this?  Spring is dodging and trying to counter.  Spring finally lands a jab of sunlight to winters face and then he lands a big roundhouse of 60° temperatures to the face as well!!!
And winter is hurt!!!  Winter is going down!
This is basically what my day was like. It started with rain, then sleet, then hail and then snow.  About two inches of snow fell before all of a sudden the sun came out and the temperatures rose to the upper 50’s lower 60’s melting all the snow.
I almost froze my hands off trying to pack up my tent this morning and hurried to get out on the road. My new rain pants, a cheap pair of Frogg Toggs worked much better than my last pair and kept my legs warm and dry.  I wasn’t actually cold today just had trouble finding the trail and not slipping all over the place.
There were some parts of the trail that are so new they aren’t even in the guidebook. Also, whenever the trail turns into rocks on ridge lines, they usually paint the white blazes in the rocks, which is normally fine but not when the rock is covered in snow.  Also, trying to hike on snow covered rocks is very slippery, how people hike without trekking poles I don’t know.  Trekking poles have saved me from falling numerous times.
Near the end of my home the snow stopped and the sun started melting the snow away. The weather got so nice I spent a great deal of time trying to decide whether or not I wanted to hike to the next shelter. I eventually decided against it but it wouldn’t have been that bad of an idea.
The trail was incredibly beautiful with everything covered in snow.  At one point the trail splits to a ridge line and a bad weather trail. I took the ridge line and while I didn’t get any good views of the valley the views of the snow covered trees where beautiful.  I also climbed a mountain which I kid you not is named Big Butt Mountain.  Unfortunately, there were no signs for it so I only knew the name from the guidebook.
Now, time to eat some of this food and recover and rest up for tomorrow’s hike.

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